The 1967 NFL Championship Game — Packers and Cowboys


By Ron Griffitts

Contributing columnist

On Dec. 31, 1967 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin one of the most famous of all professional football games, termed the “Ice Bowl”, took place between the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys.

In a repeat of the previous year’s matchup, Dallas (10-5), coached by Tom Landry and Green Bay (10-4-1) coached by Vince Lombardi met in weather that had warmed from -15 degrees below zero to -13 degrees below zero at game time on turf frozen like a sheet of ice.

The Cowboys were led on offense by quarterback Don Meredith (1834 yds, 16 tds), running backs Don Perkins (823 yds, 6 tds) and Dan Reeves (602 yds, 5 tds), and receivers Bob Hayes (998 yds, 10 tds), Lance Rentzel (996 tds, 8 tds) and Dan Perkins (490 yds, 6 tds).

Their place kicker was Danny Villanueva who made 8 out of 19 field goal attempts.

They were led on defense by George Andrei with 11.5 sacks and Jethro Pugh with 9, and Mel Renfro and Cornell Green who each had seven interceptions and Mike Johnson with five.

Green Bay had a new look on offense as for the first time in the Lombardi era, Jim Taylor and Paul Hornung were not there as Hornung had retired and Taylor went to the New Orleans Saints via free agency. But Lombardi replaced them with Jim Grabowski and Donny Anderson.

The Pack was led on offense by quarterback Bart Starr ( 1823 yds, 9 tds), running backs Jim Grabowski (466 yds, 2 tds), Ben Wilson ( 453 yds, 2 tds), Donny Anderson ( 402 yds, 6 tds) and Elijah Pitts (247 yds, 6 tds), and receivers Boyd Dowler ( 836 yds, 4 tds), Carroll Dale (738 yds, 5 tds) and Elijah Pitts ( 210 yds).

Their kicker was Don Chandler who made 19 of 29 field goal attempts.

They were led on defense by Willie Davis with 11 sacks, Bob Jeter with 8 interceptions and Willie Wood, Herb Adderley and Dave Robinson with four each.

The footing was not good as receivers and running backs slipped on the frozen field. But, the Packers scored first on an eight-yard pass from Bart Starr to Boyd Dowler and Green Bay led 7-0 after the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Dowler again scored, this time on a 46-yard pass play from Bart Starr and the Pack went up 14-0. But, Dallas got new energy when George Andrei recovered a Bart Starr fumble at the seven-yard line and ran it in for a touchdown. Danny Villaneuva added a 21-yard field goal and the score at halftime was 14-10 in favor of Green Bay.

There was no scoring in the third quarter and the teams went into the fourth quarter with the Packers still up by four points. Lance Rentzel scored on a 50-yard pass from Dan Reeves on an option play and the Cowboys took their first lead of the game, 17-14.

The Dallas defense had stiffened and sacked Bart Starr eight times as Green Bay had not scored since the first quarter. The Dallas strategy in the fourth quarter was to keep the Pack off the field and they were successful until they had to punt with five minutes left in the game.

With the help of halfback Donnie Anderson and fullback Chuck Mercein, who just five weeks before had been on an NFL farm team, Green Bay moved the ball down the field until it was third down at the half-yard line with 16 seconds left in the game.

For the first two downs, Starr went to Donnie Anderson who could not get in the end zone. But on third down, Starr called a timeout and they went to the sidelines and Lombardi drew up a play. It was a quarterback sneak behind guard Jerry Kramer whose job was to move Dallas tackle Jethro Pugh out of the way so Starr could get in the end zone.

Kramer made one of the most famous plays in the history of professional football as Pugh was 6’ 6” tall and the shorter Kramer undercut him and pushed him out of the way on the slick icy field. Starr got into the end zone and Green Bay won 21-17 to become the first team in modern history to win three consecutive NFL titles.

The Packers went on to defeat the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl II. An era was over, however, as Lombardi retired as Green Bay coach and the Packers were not back until Bret Favre led them to a Super Bowl victory in 1997.

Dallas under Landry got to the Super Bowl in 1971.

Statistics for this article were from and

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